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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Mark Ronson, Version

I reviewed the new Mark Ronson album for Drum Media. Here's what I thought:MARK RONSON
Version
Sony/BMG


You’ve probably already heard the funky version of Radiohead’s Just that has been doing the rounds for a while. Well, indie DJs everywhere will be overjoyed at the news that the man responsible, Englishman Mark Ronson, has released a whole album of indie covers.

These aren’t lazy re-hashes either; they’ve been given a total shake-up, resulting in a tasty mix of jazz, hip-hop, pop, samba, funk and motown, and, as a producer and DJ of some acclaim, Ronson has called on a few industry pals to lend their voices. While some collaborations miss the mark; most notably Robbie Williams’ wishy-washy vocal on a directionless Charlatans cover, and pointless Maximo Park and Kasabian tracks which feature the original artists, for the most part this is a slick and interesting experiment.

Highlights include Lily Allen’s cheeky take on Kaiser Chiefs’ Oh My God and a complete revamp of Britney’s Toxic, which features a verbal tirade by the late, great Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Elsewhere, Ronson plays the dangerous game of covering The Smiths, yet his brooding, Massive Attack-style reworking of Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before is little short of majestic.

In spite of these fine moments, this album is fairly disposable, and once the novelty wears off you won’t really have cause to revisit Version very often. But Ronson certainly deserves credit for the quality and integrity of these recordings. Considering the unmitigated disaster that this type of project could have been, short-lived fun is a pretty good result.

2 comments:

daniel said...

I see you've done some redecorating. Nice.

bobbysix said...

Indeed. It's the result of being bored following a week at home with a stinking cold!